January 28, 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Graduate, Now Playwright, Emily Zemba Launches Kickstarter to Fund New Play in NYC


LYME/OLD LYME —
If you’re an aspiring playwright, actually writing a play can be the relatively easy part but finding the funding to produce your play can be a major challenge.

Emily Zemba

Emily Zemba, a 2006 graduate from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), is trying a highly original approach to generate some seed money to bring her latest play to life on the stage.

She explained to LymeLine, “I have recently joined forces with two other amazing female writers to form The Pool — and our mission is to “take on the soul of America in rep” with our highly theatrical plays.” Along with fellow playwrights Kate Cortesi and Brenda Withers, Zemba has launched a Kickstarter campaign, which is aiming to raise $6,000 by next Saturday, Jan. 11, to cover the initial costs of putting on their respective plays in the fall of 2020 at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City’s West Village.

Asked about her play, Zemba says, “It is titled Superstitions, and is an absurd, dark comedy that links superstitions to cultural terrors and a collective national anxiety. I know, I know, anxiety is a riot! But I promise that the play is just as fun and ridiculous as it is unsettling. ” She notes that the play was nominated for 2018 Venturous Playwright Fellowship, and also that she has already received a grant from The Artists Patron Fund in support of this production.

After her graduation from LOLHS, Zemba attended Sarah Lawrence College and then went onto Yale University, where she obtained an MFA from the School of Drama in May 2015. Zemba’s parents are former Old Lyme Selectman Kurt Zemba and Catherine Frank, who retired from the position of Exceutive Assistant to Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder in October 2019.

Zemba notes that in addition to the Kickstarter, there will continue to be ways to donate directly through their website. Also, donations of $1,000 or more will be fully tax-deductible if made through their fiscal sponsor: New Georges (simply make the check out to New Georges with The Pool 2020 listed in the memo line.)

But the immediate challenge is to raise $6,000 by Jan. 11. At the time of writing, $4,597 has been raised so these young playwrights are close to the finish line. The Kickstarter page states: “We may still be about 10 months out from production, but there are several up-front costs which need immediate attention, for example:

  • The New Ohio requires a down payment a year out.
  • We have hired a PR Rep who will help launch our marketing campaign and assist with project visibility.
  • The directors who will helm our productions need contracts sooner rather than later, before their schedules get any busier.
  • We are hiring a creative producer to oversee and coordinate the myriad pieces of this ambitious undertaking.”

If you wish to donate to support these playwrights and help bring their plays to the stage, visit the Kickstarter page for The Pool at this link where there is more information about the project.

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